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Posts tagged ‘Hard’

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Unit 49 – Multilingualism in the EU

Difficulty: Hard

Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds

The passage below has been adapted from an article published on http://www.euractiv.com on 4th July 2012.

 

Jean Quatremer, a renowned French political journalist from the daily Libération, complained about the official press statements accompanying the Commission’s economic recommendations to member states, published on 30 May.
The statements, eagerly awaited by the press because of the euro debt crisis, were initially made available to journalists in English only, with translations in other languages following hours later in the day.
This, Quatremer said, gave the Anglo-Saxon press an “incredible competitive advantage” over others.“Can you govern a eurozone, which numbers 330 million citizens, in a language which is only spoken by less than five million Irish? … Well, that is what the European Commission claims to do,” Quatremer wrote in a strongly-worded blog post.
Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said he understood the frustration but urged Quatremer to “accept it” since English had become the most widely spoken language in the EU Executive.
The documents, Bailly argued, were translated within a few hours into the other EU working languages (French and German) and within two days for the remaining 20 official languages.
Quatremer is not isolated in his quest for more linguisitc balance within the EU institutions. Jean-Pierre de Launoit, President of the ‘Alliance Française’, a public association promoting the French language and culture worldwide, said he has long sought to promote linguistic diversity within the European institutions. “Our struggle lies in the defence of multilingualism and the use of French whenever possible” in the EU institutions, he said.
Dennis Abbott, Commission spokesman for education, culture and multilingualism, argued that the translation delays on May 30th were due to some last-minute changes to the documents, made during the meeting of the College of Commissioners that took place the same day. In total, 66 documents required translation, representing 10,500 pages or 450 pages per language for the Commission’s translation services. All were translated within the set deadline, Abbott told EurActiv in emailed comments.
Anticipating the Commission’s response, Quatremer wrote that he did not wish for all documents to be translated immediately into French, but at least the report concerning France.
The Commission estimates that translating its more than two million documents yearly costs the European taxpayer 60 cents per person, which is often referred to as “the cost of democracy”.

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Unit 31 – Dinosaurs and Shakespeare

Difficulty: Hard

Time: 3 minutes

The following dinosaur cartoon is from quantz.com.

 

dinosaurs discuss false documents

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Unit 20 – Comparing Songs: Elbow, Editors & the Cap’n

Not the best formatting I’ve ever done with WordPress, but anyway… you usually want to spend an average of 1 minute 30 seconds per question on section 1. However, some questions are easier and quicker to complete than others. If you get the easy ones done quicker you can afford to spend more time reading and thinking about trickier ones such as those below. 

 

Difficulty: Hard

Time: 7 minutes 30 seconds

Song 1:                                                           Song 2:

Elbow Not a Job lyrics for comprehension

Plastic factory by Captain Beefheart, lyrics for comprehension

           

Song 3

Fingers in the Factories by Editors, lyrics for comprehension

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Unit 18 – Tricky Questions on Classic Poetry

Difficulty: Hard
Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds

 

Below is an extract from Like Dolmens Round My Childhood…, a poem by John Montague

 

Like dolmens round my childhood, the old people.

Jamie MacCrystal sang to himself,
A broken song without tune, without words;
He tipped me a penny every pension day,
Fed kindly crusts to winter birds.
When he died, his cottage was robbed,
Mattress and money-box torn and searched.
Only the corpse they didn’t disturb.
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Unit 1.15 – Fishapod Linguistics

Difficulty: Hard

Time: 3 minutes

 

Below is an extract from I Smirt, You Stooze, They Krump… by J. Crozier, C. McKeown & E. Summers entitled ‘Mix and Match’.

One of the latest creatures to have slithered from the primeval swamp of palaeontology is Tiktaalik roseae, a link between fish and land animals recently discovered in the Nunavut territory of Arctic Canada.

Tiktaalik has been dead for a mere 383 million years, but its name, Inuktitut in origin, looks set to enter the Collins English Dictionary in the near future.

It’s nice to see another Inuktitut word enter the English language, joining anorak, igloo, and kayak. But Tiktaalik’s nickname is just as interesting. Fishapod not only succinctly encapsulates the nature of this ‘fish with feet’ (an important missing link between water and land animals), but also highlights an interesting trend in language – the increasing freedom with which we create new hybrids from exisiting words, regardless of linguistic convention.

Purists will doubtless sneer at the way in which Germanic and Greek words have been spliced together in fishapod (‘Surely it should be icthyopod?’), but these people are probably still bemoaning that egregious Greek-Latin hybrid television.

As coinages like flexitarian, fauxmosexual and tanorexic show, we are adept at making new words from old, based on punning, allusion, and common sense rather than deference to ancient linguistic principles. These words are memorable, amusing, and – most importantly – easily understood. So the fishapod, our new friend from the distant past, serves as a reminder that English is ours to do with what we will, rather than a fossilised museum exhibit.
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